Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Poinsettia class

Every year I teach a watercolor class on poinsettias. We usually go to Quality Gardens on rt 228 because the green house is so beautiful and they have a wonderful selection. This year we decided to shop for our poinsettias there and paint in the studio. It was nice, but not the same as being in a humid greenhouse, surrounded by greenery... I may have to go just for myself. This is my demonstration on quarter sheet watercolor paper.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Portrait Session

I only had just over an hour of work time on this today.
Kind of had to "go with my gut" and just work on instinct.
I have to say it was fun. 
16x20 on a new pastel surface that I made using 
mat board, gesso and ground.
Not as much tooth as I would like 
but I will make more since the price is right.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fall Colors Painting Demo

I spent a weekend with friends at a cabin about a month ago.
  The colors, photos, weather and friendship were perfect that weekend. 
I used one of the photos to do this 9x12 inch watercolor 
as a demonstration for my watercolor students. 
We talked about the layers of a painting and how to show direction and depth. 
It is good to identify the layers in a busy image so that you can paint with a plan.
The color was fun too.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Portrait Session

A wonderful portrait session yesterday.
 I have a ton of pastels and I take them, all of them, 
when I go to these model sessions.  
I don't need them all. (You knew that.)
So, I forced myself to use only a small selection of color for this one.
Painting was easier, not confusing or overwhelming,
 and I like what happened.
Pastel, 18 x 22 inch sanded paper.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Workshop Day Two

I can't say enough about how much I got out of the workshop.
 Anatomy is so important.
So is observation, angles, planes...
And a good pair of bifocals. 
(Will be making appointment this week.)
Also having your materials organized and prepared.
I dropped my pastels, that were in pizza boxes, in foam sections, 
(which work really well in my studio, not for travel), 
and they got mixed up.
(Will be looking into a new storage system.)
This is my pastel on 18x24 wallis paper from day two 
of the Judy Carducci workshop. 
I needed to stop fifteen minutes before to leave 
the hands and bottom looser, or need fifteen minutes more 
work time to tighten it up some.
Another thing to learn.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I spent the weekend at a Judy Carducci portrait workshop.
And I learned so much. 
And know I still have so much more to learn.
And what fun I will have on the journey.
She demonstrated a gorgeous value portrait on the first day.
So I chose to do the same. This is my effort.
Vine charcoal and white pastel on 18x24 inch canson paper
drawn from live model... so fun!

Monday, November 8, 2010


This is one that I just want to take home with me.
I enjoy painting these dog portraits. 
Each dog has as story and a personality.
Check out my Etsy shop if you would like one done of your own.
Or for a friend...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Another Mixed Breed Dog

I had this sketched for a past client. 
We used another pose, but I thought I would finish this one anyway. 
The other pose was more direct and a little more personal.
 I feel like this dog has an old soul. And seems very patient.
watercolor 8x10 inches

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


10 x10 inch watercolor I did as another gift.
I call Sue a dynamo. She gets stuff done.


This is a watercolor, 10x10 inches, that I did as a gift.  
Sometimes you meet people that make a difference.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ukrainian "Halloween" Eggs (is there such a thing?)

I offered some open studio time for Ukrainian Eggs.  I usually offer a class only once a year, but with all the fun designs to create and have fun with, well, there is no stopping us now.  Some are working with traditional designs and some are making up their own designs. I think we are all having fun. These are some simple fun ones for Halloween.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Late Again

I was late to this weeks portrait session and had just over an hour of work time on this one.
I would have worked the shadow values in stronger and blended the grays in the skin tones alittle smoother, but for the time I had, the likeness I got, I am happy.
pastel on 16 x 20 inch velour mat board

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Quick Portrait Session

I went to a portrait session this morning
 and thought I would work in pastels.
I love the portrait sessions (Associated Artists of Butler County
because they are so casual, no pressure and a warm group. 
I was too busy to go lately, 
and forgot what a nice opportunity this is. 
 I could have used about 20 more minutes to 
work the shirt and tidy up a bit.
Total work time, about and hour and a half 
on 11x14 ish bristol board that I put a pastel ground on.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Mutt!

I just love a mutt!
And also love my new Mac.
No more too bright colors...
or maybe it is fooling me on my screen...
watercolor, 8x10 inches

Back in Class


These are demonstrations I did for my classes this week.
I set up a few pumpkins under some directional lights 
and we talked about how to use contour drawings for our watercolors. 
Then we drew them 4 times and did some watercolor exercises.
The first was done as a value painting using one color. 
The second to the right was done with only two colors. (amazing what only two colors can do) 
The bottom left was done with what we thought were realistic colors. 
And the last on the bottom right was done using some exaggerated colors.

Also want to say that I am working on a new computer now...
so far it has been a time eater... but soon it will be a time saver...
There are many things that I will miss about my old PC.
But more things that I love about my new Mac.
Especially the image quality, color....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Alaska Fishing

This is a thank you painting I did for my Dad to give to the people he visited in Alaska.
They had a wonderful time fishing, hiking... and being men.
7x10 inches, watercolor

Sunday, August 15, 2010

what's new?


I just wanted to repost these images since I touched them up. Sharpened some of the areas, adjusted some of the angles... the colors are closer to the actual paintings too.
 I drop them off at Fein Art Gallery tomorrow.

We did a museum tour last week. (My two sons and I)
Went to the Barnes Foundation (yes, we saw the movie The Art of the Steal) in Philladelphia and went to see the Wyeths work at the Brandywine museum in Chadds Ford, and then to DC to see the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the Museum of American Art.
Take the docent tour at the Barnes if you go before the collection moves. An amazing amount of art... go through it twice to see what you missed the first time.
Make sure you have plenty of time to go through the Brandywine Musem (we could have spent more than the two hours we had).
And just go ahead and spend a week in DC at all the museums. We had one day and it was painful to leave without seeing more. And the Rockwell exhibit... made us smile, a nice way to end our tour. Thanks to Speilburg and Lucas for sharing their collections.
Nice to watch the boys critique and enjoy all the art we saw.
Now getting ready for back to school for the boys, my art classes and commissions, coffee with my husband, walking the dog...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Baba's Pails

This 7x10 inch Baba is done in pastels.
I enjoyed playing with the colors, so many to choose from.
The actual painting has much brighter colors.
I am still not able to photograph and adjust the colors of my pastels.
I will try to photograph again outside to see if it makes a difference.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

In the Shadow

This is alittle different for me. I usually don't do buildings...
but I still put my Baba in.
It was pretty challenging to do in pastels.
And I am really unhappy with how it photgraphed.
I will try again tomorrow.
This is for a show at Fein Art Gallery with the Pittsburgh Pastel Artists League.
I still need to do one more.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Another Red Glass

Just a quick 8x10 acrylic on stretched canvas for my friend's kitchen.
I have been teaching all week and again next week so no new people work to show.
You can however stop by to see my students work.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Barn Baba

I dropped this watercolor off at Eye Candy Gallery in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland for the Art Walk yesterday. I am a featured artist for the month of July and have 8 paintings there. The Art Walk was a really great time... the shops, neighborhood and people... so fun. I was born in that neighborhood and it is nice to see the new restaurants, galleries, studios, museums, churches.... go if you get a chance!
Taste of Tremont is coming up too as well as the next art walk the second friday in august.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

At the Lake

Cropping an image... Is one better than the other?
Done from a vintage black and white photo.
I took out alot of the busy boats and dock equipment,
moved the background...
I think this says enough without getting too busy.
watercolor about 7 x 9 inches or 7 x 10 inches

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Jon Boats

I am back from the Three Rivers Arts Festival.
It was a great experience... even with the rain.
I have to submit pastel paintings for a show at Box Heart Gallery
but sold the painting I wanted to show at the festival.
So instead of getting my studio back in shape, I painted these.
I am going to really spend some time in the near future on improving my camera skills.
I miss so many subtle color shifts...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sunday Best

I was at an antique store in Zainesville, Ohio last summer and found some fun vintage photographs.
I just love this couple... and the dog!
I thought I was done but see I still have some tweaking to do on this...
watercolor, 6 x 9 inches

Take me out to the ball game...

I thought I was finished with this painting but felt it need something more. So I took out my titanium white and did some washes to adjust some of the color.
I like the way it simplifies some of the shapes. 
Wonder what these two are talking about?
watercolor 6x9 inches

Thursday, May 27, 2010


This is a demo that I did for the student class. I painted this very quickly so that I didn't take much class time. I wanted to show them how to get a nice fur texture. I exaggerated some of the highlights so they could understand "clumping" shapes, highlights... But anyway, I am happy to finally do a portrait of my little Buddy.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Old Timers

6x9 inch watercolor.
This has been a really fun series for me to paint.
I have been using my photographs
and take out or put in what I think the painting needs.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Another 5x8 inch watercolor for the Three Rivers Arts Festival.
Just painting away...
Running out of creative titles,
so I will be rethinking some of these when I get some time...

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Still working on small images for the Three Rivers Arts Festival.
5x8 inches, watercolor

Friday, May 14, 2010


I have been working small, 5x9 inches,
trying things out to see what works before I redo bigger.
I found some great photos while doing research for other paintings.
I am easily distracted, and will get back to more Baba paintings soon.

Watercolor study

I did this once before in acrylic... it sold last year.
I always wanted to do this again, but bigger, in watercolor, drippy...
So this is a small 5x7 inch study to plot some colors, cropping...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Even more face cards

I did a few more face cards from vintage photos.
It is nice, quick practice
and a chance to try different backgrounds...
to see how the focal point changes...
2.5 x 3.5 inches, watercolor

Just a Walk

Just a walk... 5x7 watercolor...
I am not feeling well for the past few days, (headache and sinus stuff with the weather change)
so not much to say and my painting.
Just trying to keep painting.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Update: I won an award for this painting at the opening.
Not sure what I won yet, we were out of town
(I think it was the Cadscarlet award, an honor to recieve)
Flying by the seat of my pants, again! I just finished this painting, Sanctuary, for the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society member show. (May 2 - June 6th at Gallery Sim, Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA) 
It has been awhile since I have done an actual painting, not just a demonstration. I missed it.
Drop off is today and I better go cut a mat and get this framed!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lab/Pitbull Mix

This is a small (8x10 inch) watercolor of a lab/pitbull mix that I just finished. He seemed really quiet and thoughtful in the reference images that were provided for me. So I painted him as I saw it.
Now, back to my baba paintings.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Three Rivers Arts Festival

Sorry no image to post....I just wanted to let everyone know that I was selected as one of the emerging artists for the Three Rivers Art Festival this year. I have booth #96 from June 4th through June 8th. It is really a wonderful opportunity and I can't wait for the show. There is so much to do, from the juried art show, demonstrations, art mart, music line up... something for everyone. Stop by and say hi if you get a chance!

Friday, April 9, 2010

redo in watercolor

Ok, this is better.
I redid this image in watercolor about 10x14 inches.
I felt I wasn't getting it in acrylic so tried again in watercolor.
I am happier with the results. (back to my usual colors too)
I think the expressions worked better.
Maybe I was trying to do too much in such a small size.
Anyway, it is good to learn and keep growing.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Small portrait again

I touched this painting up and reposted it. I really enjoyed using warm and cool grays... but they don't photograph too true. So if anyone has any suggestions on photo touchup software I am all ears.
8x10 acrylic on a magenta ground

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Small portrait

I was doing some research for my Baba paintings and found some old photos that I found really interesting. I think this is a family member from Russia. I painted this small 5x7 inch acrylic painting from a black and white photo. I used strectched canvas and painted a bright warm red as a base. I also gave her a yellow pencil... not from the time... she had an ink pen and ink jar... but I wanted to add some yellow warmth to the image. Hmmmm.... was it wrong? or could this be like a game... what does not belong in the picture? (Where's Waldo-ish?)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Onion color lesson

I wanted to go over color options in my adult class. 
I set up some onions in a still life and did these demos.
The first demo I did was as a value study with just one color.
The next one on the right was done with just two colors.
The third one was done with what we thought were realistic colors.
And the fourth done with more intensity and exaggerated colors.
 I did this to show the students that exaggerating the colors really makes a painting interesting and fun.
I wanted them to step out of their safe zone and explore colors that they wouldn't normally choose.
These are about 3 x 5 inches each.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Baba 2, Watercolor Portraits

My second Baba. I took the inspiration for this Baba from a painting I did over a year ago as a commission. I posted the inspiration below. both are about  8 x 10 inches, watercolor.

Oh, and if you get a chance, have a look at these two up and coming artists.... yes, I am a proud mother!
They are still in high school... yes, I am a proud mom!

Monday, February 22, 2010


I am starting a new group of work and this is a loosening up piece that I did today. I am looking forward to exploring more of this subject. I think there are many stories to tell. I have some other Baba paintings that I did a few years ago, posted below.

This painting is the story of my grandmother's life. The main image is her traveling clothes.  The background is her as a young woman on the farm, the ship they arrived on, the church and her church clothes, roses and as an older woman in her favorite chair. She was a strong woman that I have huge respect for.

This is one of the studies that I worked on for the painting above. I have it matted and framed since the one above sold. It was a tough sale, but I found that many people really identified with the image and said it could have been their "Baba". These were all done in watercolor.